thedetails: (🍬 an illusion of a hopeless heart)
myka ophelia bering ([personal profile] thedetails) wrote in [community profile] embarkation2014-03-11 12:00 am

Writing a Critique You Won't Regret in the Morning

The Etiquette of Responding to a "How's My Driving" Post

Concrit in 3 easy steps:

1) Begin with something positive.  No one is the worst RPer ever. Even the worst writer has something positive, be it in their writing or something out of character, such as approachability or friendliness. Most of all, starting on a positive note helps the player being addressed to not immediately go on the defensive, not to mention beginning with a positive gives them a foundation to improve upon.

2) Address areas of needed improvement. Again, phrasing so that noted places of improvement doesn't come off as an attack will result in better reception of your critique.  Use specific examples for improvement.  Sweeping comments like "your character is inconsistent" often prove to be unhelpful to someone trying to understand why you would think that, especially since they are possibly too close to their writing to see it for themselves.  Try linking or quoting to specific incidents where the character was inconsistent, so that the player can clearly see the instances where their characterization became problematic.

3) Question and redirect.  It is often helpful to directly question the concern at hand; for example, "In the canon, Character is said to feel X way about this situation.  What has made them change in the game that gives them a Y point of view instead?"  Addressing through questions not only gives the player the opportunity to explain their point of view, but it also put them in a position to have to justify it in a way that makes sense outside of their own head.  You can also use these questions to help suggest redirection of characterization, especially if the player is extremely off the mark.  Again, specific examples from canon or gameplay will be helpful in clearly illustrating your point of view to the player.

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As a player and and a critique writer, the most important thing I try to personally keep in mind is that regardless of how subpar their playing might be, they are still a human being who has put themselves in a vulnerable position by asking for crit.  The Golden Rule always applies, and I try to give the kind of in depth crit I would hope to receive.

I learned these steps through critiquing original writing, but I feel strongly is applies to role play as well as most story-telling mediums.  Unfortunately, not everyone is as open to crit no matter how well thought or thorough it may be, but it never hurts to assume the best.  If you give them a helpful, useful critique and it is responded to negatively, you can at least move on knowing that you did your best by offering support to a fellow writer, and it was their choice to not respect you in turn.

I know many talented writers on DW are well aware of these critique methods and use them regularly; but to those who are not, I do hope that they will find this post useful.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain